Our Story

Our Story

Our mission at the Tuckerton Seaport is to preserve, present and interpret the rich maritime history, artistry, heritage and environment of the Jersey shore and the unique contributions of its baymen.

 

Once known as the Barnegat Bay Decoy and Baymen’s Museum, the Tuckerton Seaport has evolved into a maritime village located along historic Tuckerton Creek in Tuckerton, New Jersey.  Tuckerton Seaport’s 40-acre site includes 17 historic and recreated buildings connected by a boardwalk, a maritime forest and wetlands nature trail, two houseboats, a decoy gallery, a working boatworks building in which restoration of sneakbox designs of the Barnegat Bay occurs, a historic marine railway (currently under reconstruction), decoy carving workshops and the recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse.  Daily demonstrators and traditional artists bring the Jersey Shore’s rich maritime heritage to life.

Bring the family and spend the day exploring exhibits and meet the people who lived, worked and played along the Barnegat Bay:  decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, quilters, commercial fishermen, artists and other baymen and women.  General programs offered include hands on activities, workshops, tours and classes taught by Jersey Shore artists.

The Tucker’s Island Lighthouse features exhibits on privateers and pirates of the Jersey Coast, Tuckerton designated as a third Port of Entry at the start of a new nation for receipt and departure of intra and international trade and travel, the origins of the U.S. Life Saving Service, shipwrecks and the Jersey Shore’s first resort.

Tuckerton Seaport is also home to the Jersey Shore Folklife Center (JSFC).  The JSFC researches, documents, supports and presents the diverse communities and traditions of the Jersey Shore and the Pinelands.  The Center presents folk art programs and exhibits at Tuckerton Seaport and manages the artist roster and guest demonstrator schedule, the Folk and Traditional Artist in Residence Program, the Jersey Traditions outreach program and changing artist exhibits in J.C. Parker’s Decoy workshop.  JSFC celebrates the profoundly creative spirit of the region, its traditional arts, and its occupational and recreational folklife.

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center (JCNERR) and its “Life on the Edge” exhibit, housed in the Tuckerton Yacht Club at the seaport, are managed by the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  The Borough of Tuckerton and Tuckerton Creek is located in one of the least disturbed places on the northeast coast of the United States.  The Reserve encompasses habitat in and around the estuary where fresh water from the Mullica River and saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean mix in the Great Bay.  Named for the famed Ocean Explorer Jacques Cousteau, the reserve conducts scientific research, hosts a variety of education and interpretive programs and encourages stewardship of these unique natural resources.  At the “Life on the Edge” exhibit, visitors can go back in time to explore New Jersey’s environmental past, present and future within the Jacques Cousteau National Estuary.  Dive into an amazing experience that takes you through the Pinelands, Great Bay, Barrier Island and Open Ocean ecosystems that make up this pristine natural reserve.

 

Our vision for the future

 

Tuckerton Seaport’s vision is to build a nationally acclaimed educational and interpretive center showcasing New Jersey’s rich maritime history and contemporary folklife through interpretation of the cultural heritage and environment of the New Jersey shore and the surrounding environment.

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